“Hacienda” isn’t just a more fun way to say “house”. To qualify for the designation, a compound must come complete with land and resources enough to be fully self-sufficient, protective perimeter walls, a Roman Catholic chapel, and housing for its workers. This hybrid of business and community might seem like an anachronism, but it’s an anachronism that still manages to produce gold medal-winning spirits (the most of any tequila maker from 2009-20014) while also serving as a mecca for some 50,000 annual tequila-seeking tourists, so… cheers to anachronisms.
For workers to live in the Hacienda’s on-site “casitas”, they must be descendants of the operation’s original employees. A surprising (for job-hopping Americans, anyway) percentage of their 600-strong staff does meet that requirement, some of them having worked for Herradura themselves going on 40 years.